Will my lot get gas?
Check the preliminary assessment roll to see if your lot is included in the Natural Gas HSAD. Approximately 90% of City lots will be included in the HSAD.
When will I get gas?
When you get natural gas will depend on where you live. The first stage of the distribution system will be built in the most densely populated areas. View a construction map here. Enstar will be hooking customers up as they build the line. The goal is to build the entire trunk line in 2013 and the entire distribution system during the 2013 and 2014 construction seasons.
Enstar will contact homeowners as they are building the line to see if you are interested in hooking up. The first homes in Homer are scheduled to have gas flowing in September 2013. Call 907-435-0635 or drop by the Homer office at 345 Sterling Highway Suite 104 with more question.
Is there financing to help convert my home to natural gas?
You may be able to get financing from a bank for conversion. Contact your local bank for eligibility, terms and conditions. Other programs worth looking into are the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation Weatherization and Home Energy Rebate programs. These programs help with energy efficiency upgrades and can be used to offset the cost of a new boiler or other upgrades in equipment, though they are not specially designed to cover conversion costs. If you do participate, make sure you tell the energy rater that you will be converting your home to natural gas when he or she does the original rating. USDA rural development has a home improvement loan program for low income individuals and a grant program for low income seniors that can help pay for conversion and hook up costs. Visit the USAD website here.
Can I plumb my own home for natural gas?
Check with your homeowner’s policy to see if you are covered if a non-licensed plumber installs the pipe and appliances. Enstar will inspect the work and sign off on it before they hook your home up to gas no matter who installed the infrastructure. Remember you are dealing with a dangerous flammable gas and safety should always be the first priority. Information from Enstar on the steps to convert a home to natural gas according to code can be found here.
How much will it cost me to convert to natural gas?
The cost of converting to natural gas is very specific to each home. Click here for more information on converting.
How much will Enstar charge to get gas to my home?
Enstar's 2013 rates are $1290 for the first 100 feet of service line and $2 for every additional linear foot. You will only be charged for the service line that runs on your property. For example, if the main extension is on the opposite side of the road as your house, you will not be charge for boring the line under the road. You also have to purchase a meter. The cost of a meter varies depending on anticipated load, however the average cost is $200.
How much will I save with natural gas?
Your savings depends on what type of fuel you currently heat with. Bill Smith has made a chart that compares the cost of different fuel types here. Mr. Smith has calculated a 60% savings over fuel oil can be expected with an even greater savings if you heat with electric or propane. Enstar also has a chart published that compares the cost of heating with different fuel types.
Who will own the gas line?
Enstar will own and operate the gas line and be responsible for all ongoing maintenance and repairs.
Who do I call if there is a problem with the gas line?
Call Enstar. They have a Homer office located at 345 Sterling Highway Suite 104. Local contact information for Enstar is firstname.lastname@example.org or 907-435-0635. In case of an emergency, call 1-877-907-9767.
How do I get gas if I am not in the HSAD but near a main extension and want to hook up?
Contact Enstar at email@example.com or 907-435-0635. You will have to pay for the main extension running from the existing main extension to the right of way fronting your home in addition to the cost of the service line. However, there is a mechanism in Enstar’s tariff for neighbors who benefit from that main extension to help pay for the cost as they hook up. Contact Enstar for details.
How much will natural gas, the commodity, cost?
The price of natural gas will depend on your load. Enstar has their rates posted here, but it can be difficult to figure out what that means for you. Bill Smith calculated a typical single family home providing heat and hot water would spend $383 a month on fuel oil compared to $134 a month for natural gas (see graph here).
You can see a copy of a sample Enstar bill here. A guide on how to read an Enstar bill can be found here.
Will my property value increase with access to natural gas?
There is no consensus on what impact access to natural gas will have on property values, however the Borough Assessor will not automatically increase the value of your property just because it has access to natural gas. The process for determining value will remain the same, using comparable homes sale property values in the area to base assessments on.
How deep will the service line that brings gas to my house be buried?
18 to 24 inches.